Democratic lawmakers said Monday that they have enough support to force a Senate vote on repealing the Trump administration's rollback of "net neutrality" regulations.
Still, the effort would be a long shot since it would require major Republican support to overcome White House opposition.
"A big step toward restoring a free and open Internet: with the support of @clairecmc, we now have the 30 votes we need to force a vote on my CRA to reverse the repeal of #NetNeutrality!" Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., tweeted Monday, referring to Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., becoming the 30th co-sponsor to his Congressional Review Act legislation to roll back the Trump administration's action.
The Federal Communications Commission, led by Chairman Ajit Pai, last month rolled back Obama-era rules that classified the Internet as a public utility required to treat all content, platforms, and sites equally. Net neutrality prevents service providers from blocking Internet traffic or charging different fees for services. Pai argued the Obama regulation limited competition and slowed investment in new networks, leaving consumers worse off. Critics contend the move gives too much power to larger providers.
The move has been extremely controversial. Pai canceled an appearance at the annual Consumer Electronics Show Las Vegas on Tuesday following death threats directed at him over net neutrality.
The Congressional Review Act allows a majority Congress to vote to rescind regulatory rules by federal agencies. The president can veto any CRA bill passed by Congress, but a veto can be overridden by a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers.
There is bipartisan support in Congress for limiting the Trump administration's action, though it is not clear how strong the support for it is among Republicans.